An overview of triple bottom line sustainability in the City of St. Louis

The City of St. Louis harnesses the strength and spirit of its diverse community to create an economically, socially and ecologically vibrant City for present and future generations -- one that dynamically serves those who live, work and play in the City's rich and celebrated historic landscape.

City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan and Sustainability Action Agenda

The City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan was formally adopted by the City's Planning Commission in January 2013. In February 2013, Mayor Slay announced his Sustainability Action Agenda of 29 priority sustainability efforts for implementation by 2018. A State of Sustainability Report 2013-2016 has been developed to indicate progress made on those 29 Action Agenda items.

Keeping up with Sustainability News

The City of St. Louis Sustainability Office communicates via website posts, periodic eNews mailings and Tweets from @GreeninSTL.

To receive electronic sustainability news, alerts and information, send an email to with "Subscribe to Sustainability eNews" in the subject line. 

Energy Efficiency Financing

In March 2017, Mayor Slay announced an expansion of the 2013 Set The PACE St. Louis financing program. In addition to offering financing for commercial building owners in the City of St. Louis, the Set The PACE St. Louis program will now be available for municipal and residential building owners who want to make energy efficiency, water efficiency, or renewable energy improvements on their buildings. A new Inclusion/Diversity program will include training and apprentice opportunities to minority/woman owned businesses. For more information visit[]

Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative

The City's award-winning Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative was launched in 2013. Two initial efforts were creating version 1.0 of a Sustainable Neighborhood Toolkit and holding a Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition. Learn more about the Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative

Urban Vitality & Ecology

The City was designated a Biophilic City in March 2017. Numerous resources, including a new Connecting With Nature Map and associated Challenge are posted on the Urban Vitality & Ecology page at left.

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STL Climate Initiative

April 2017: A Climate Action & Adaptation Plan for the City of St. Louis has been developed by Mayor Slay's Office of Sustainability. It contains recommended mitigation strategies for achieving 80% reduction of GHG emissions by 2050, and mitigation strategies for being a healthy, resilient, equitable and prosperous community.  

In 2016, the City was recognized with a national City Energy Project award to promote energy efficiency in large buildings. On February 16, 2017, Mayor Slay signed energy benchmarking legislation targeting existing buildings with 50,000 sq ft. (#70474). A new Energy Technical Advisor contractor job has been posted to support the City's benchmarking and City Energy Project efforts. For assistance with benchmarking, please reach out to USGBC and ask about energy benchmarking jams. 

In 2015, Mayor Slay joined with other local government officials around the world in committing to the Compact of Mayors, and pledging to gather GHG data, set a climate protection target and develop climate plans. The 2015 Community GHG inventory is summarized in a slide showing emission trends since 2005. 

The Mayor's Office and Swedish Embassy hosted a 2015 Good Climate is Good Business.  

Urban Monarch Conservation

Urban Monarch Grant Deliverables: The City's USFWS grant has concluded, and a final report is available with details. The Missouri Botanical Garden and Saint Louis Zoo led the City's effort to create 50 monarch gardens at schools in the City and develop an Educator Guide for school monarch gardens. 

St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway: On May 4, 2016, Mayor Slay received the GRO1000 Gardens and Greenspaces Award and launched the St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway at Bellerive Park. Additional monarch habitats in the Riverfront Butterfly Byway have been created at Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing and McKinley Bridge.  

Many more monarch gardening resources are available on the Milkweeds for Monarchs left tab.

Sustainability Media Galleries

Sustainability and the City

The City of St. Louis promotes sustainability in several ways, but is perhaps most visible in its efforts to capitalize on its dense area, existing infrastructure and rich heritage to preserve and restore buildings, many of which possess impressive historic features. Bicycle-friendly streets and widely available public transportation help decrease car usage, thereby reducing emissions and improving air quality. Sustainable practices such as low impact development and residential recycling are encouraged. The City also requires all new municipal buildings to meet energy efficiency and green building standards. With its Habitat for Humanity developments, St. Louis has one of the highest levels of LEED Platinum Homes in the country. St. Louis also ranks among the highest for historic building rehabilitations. The City has been successful in growing its population by revitalizing its downtown and diverse neighborhoods.

The City is moving forward with many important sustainability initiatives. Developing an overarching sustainability framework and climate action plan for the City are two examples of short-term efforts designed to have lasting, measurable impact. Increased emphasis is being placed on celebrating and communicating the sustainability successes of the City and its many partners, as well as expanding upon both current and prior successes in order for the City to become even more vibrant, sustainable and competitive in the years ahead.

The City developed an award-winning Sustainability Plan. The City started a robust public engagement effort in 2011, and issued a Draft For Public Review of its Sustainability Plan in October of 2012.  The City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan is both comprehensive and triple bottom line (economy, ecology, equity) in orientation. More information about the Plan and planning process can be found on the Sustainability Plan tab of this website. 

There have been 3 community-wide Mayor's Sustainability Summits since 2011 (view the program for the 2013 Mayor's Sustainability Summit III :: implement here)

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